Everyone Has a Story (by Eleni Bow)

Everyone Has A Story 

By Eleni Bow

From 1998 until 2004, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman would throw a dart at a map of America, and find a city. Then he would randomly select a name from that city’s phonebook, and get a story out of the selected person. The stories he generated were ones that wouldn’t be aired normally. An example is the 87-year-old woman who still does her son’s laundry. Hartman’s philosophy was simple: “Everyone has a story”. The same idea was found at Delta. 

When it comes to publicity, some kids can be overshadowed by all-star athletes, musicians, and intellectuals. I chose to experiment with Hartman’s technique, and uncovered some compelling stories in the cave system of students. 

Jayanna Pounds

Jayanna considers herself a “sneaker head,” meaning the freshman collects different shoes. She collected some in fourth grade, but got more into it in sixth grade. Her favorite brand to collect is  Air Jordans. “The reason I started doing it was because, with Jordans, they’ll make a release date, and that’s the only time they’ll come out,” she explains. “It’s rare if they release them again, but it would be years from now.”

 Not only does she buy and collect brand names, Jayanna also scouts out custom pairs. To maintain them in mint condition, she will usually keep shoes in their original boxes. While she does not trade with other sneaker heads, she’s interested in selling some online one day. 

Geocaching is a hobby Jayanna wants to look into. The basic objective is to find a hidden treasure through clues and posted GPS coordinates. “It seems so interesting to learn and seems so fun to do,” she says. 

At home, she enjoys baking. Her favorite is brownies, but she also enjoys baking cookies. Jayanna never fails to eat her brownies without a side of vanilla ice cream. When she has the time, she’ll bake from scratch, but she often uses a box mix because “it’s easier and much faster.”

Outside of school and home, she volunteers at her grandfather’s church, Greater Mount Calvary Church of God In Christ in Muncie. She helps pack to-go boxes for the dinners the church hosts in the spring and summer. Jayanna plans to volunteer more in the future. 

If she could choose any animal to have as a pet, she would pick two dogs- a Golden Retriever and a Dalmatian. Jayanna is captivated by the retriever due to its golden fur. “It seems so soft to the touch,” she says. Watching movies with Dalmatians in them made her feel like they seemed to be “the best dog to ever have.” She also likes their spots and overall uniqueness. 

Concerning her own uniqueness, Jayanna tries to be her best self. She strives to be a leader and a good example for others; for example, showing classmates how to behave when there is a substitute teacher. “I try not to do what others want me to do. I try to be a leader for some of my classmates,” she explains. “I just try to be the best I can around others and see the good things about me.”

Jordan shoes

Dathan Watson

“I love him to pieces!’ says the sophomore about his chocolate lab, Sampson. 

Dathan likes to take him on walks and sometimes even on car rides. 

Currently, Dathan doesn’t volunteer anywhere. “I’ve thought about it though,” he says. He would be interested in volunteer work involving animals, or even yard work and construction. 

At home, Dathan can be found doing yard work, like mowing and trimming bushes. When he’s not outside he likes to play video games. Currently, his favorite to play is Monster Hunter, a multiplayer role-play action game. Dathan is also playing other things, like Minecraft, a sandbox single and multiplayer game. When he has time, he likes to bake cookies, with peanut butter and chocolate chip being his two favorites to make.
“My friends think I’m really funny,” Dathan says. He also sees himself as creative. 

Dog Dathan

Levi Shelley

“I tend to be very computer and technology oriented,” the junior says about himself. Over the course of his high school years, Levi has taken multiple engineering courses. He’s a member of the National Honors Society, and when possible, he would tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This school year, he was one of the founders of the Smash Bros Club. 

Even at home, he enjoys fiddling around with computers. “I like to mess around with software development,” he says. Specifically, Levi does coding and game development. When not creating, he can be found playing games and reading. His favorite reading materials are manga and books about interesting topics that go in depth about them. “I could read them for a long time,” Levi says. 

Since he was five years old, Levi has been a part of Boy Scouts. He started out as a Cub Scout, and is now a Life Scout, working his way to being an Eagle Scout, the highest rank. With the program, he has done volunteer work, like clean-ups. Aside from that, he has done service projects for NHS and soup kitchens. ¨I don’t really volunteer in a single area, I more go from place to place whenever help is needed,” he explains.

When he cooks for his family, Levi likes to make fiesta rice, and other “carb heavy meals meant to fill you up.” Sometimes he bakes, with his favorite dessert to make being banana bread. “I do like to do baking when I get the chance. There’s a lot of cool stuff that can be made with it,” he says. Instead of cooking a certain cuisine, he makes what appeals to him most. “I just tend to make what tastes good. My appetite is everything,” Levi says.

Along with his younger brother and sister, Levi also lives with seven animals. “My family is a bit of a pet family,” he says. Included are a dog named Mya, cats named Parker and Chaz, and his sister’s four guinea pigs. He isn’t quite sure what kind they all are, saying, “I don’t quite know their breeds, I more just like to love on them more than anything.”

Levi sees himself as a computer whiz. His problem solving skills have helped him in catching on and understanding topics at school. “I’ve also been told that I’m very good at explaining concepts and lessons to other people,” he says, proving helpful when tutoring at school. “Well, when I still could,” he adds.

Levi fire

Kaylee Kemp

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done after being out of it for so long, but I’m really glad I did it.” For the first time since middle school, Kaylee joined the girls’ swim team for her senior year. This isn’t the only sport Kaylee’s participated in, though. For the last seven years, she’s practiced cheerleading and tumbling. 

“I broke my hand sophomore year while I was tumbling at cheer practice,” she says. Kaylee was practicing her standing backhandspring tuck. “Whenever you come out of the backhandspring you’re supposed to set up really high so you get enough height for your tuck,” she explains, “but one specific time, I didn’t set at all.” Instead, Kaylee went straight back and landed on her hand, resulting in her middle finger dislocating and breaking two metacarpals in her left hand. Now she has a plate with nine screws holding it all together. “I didn’t have the greatest luck that season of cheer,” she says. Not long before injuring her hand, Kaylee dislocated her index finger on her right hand while practicing. “But I healed, finally got the skill, and was able to compete with it this season,” she adds. 

During the summer, Kaylee loves to go to the Brookville Reservoir near Connersville with her friends and family to do water sports. “I’d say tubing is my favorite because it doesn’t take much effort and I can do it with my friends,” she says, “but I like them all.” Besides tubing, she likes waterskiing, boating, camping and wakeboarding. 

Kaylee considers herself “obsessed” with coffee, drinking it every day. She likes her coffee either hot or iced, but tends to go with ice most of the time, always drinking it with creamer. “I can get coffee from anywhere. I don’t have a preference, but I always find myself at Starbucks even though it’s way overpriced,” she says. Kaylee is looking forward to getting her coffee at Dunkin when the construction is complete. 

At home, she has three pets. Since she was really young, she’s had a little brown shih tzu named Cocoa. For the last few years, Kaylee has had a turtle named Sheldon. She also has a goldfish. If she could, Kaylee would want another dog, like a goldendoodle. 

Kaylee has been a part of Secret Families since it was created. “I started out wrapping presents but over the years I’ve done all the jobs from shopping to wrapping to delivering the presents to families,” she says, “You can do whatever job you want as long as there are spots available. It brings the community together, and everyone benefits from the experience.”

Kaylee likes to help out whenever she can, and enjoys helping people. She’s going to Ball State University for a major in nursing and a minor in Spanish, and then wants to work in a children’s hospital. 


Cheerleader 2